Getting an unexpected injury SUCKS! When fitness is a major part of your identity, it can seem like your whole life is thrown off track. Without spiralling into a world of sadness, know there is light at the end of the tunnel. An injury can help you realise you’re not defined by your workouts, and it may even open the door to discover new passions or different ways to exercise!
– While it is perfectly fine to be sad, angry, and disappointed for a little while, it’s important to remember there is more to you than your sport or fitness passion. Even professional athletes who do this for a living have other interests and hobbies. There are so many other activities out there that can make you happy. Go find them.
– With serious injuries, you just have to realise that your life has changed. It’s tough, but you need to move old goals to the back and start finding new ones.
– Plot your comeback. Work with your doctor or physical therapist to define a realistic timeline for when you can expect to be fully recovered. Then sign up for a race, plan a hike, or register for a competition—and plan your comeback in detail. Research shown that planning and anticipation can be a real happiness booster.
– Trust the process! Realising how long the road to recovery is can be very difficult. You’re going to want to get back out there as soon as you can. But going out too hard too soon will only hurt you. Trainers, doctors, and physical therapists will help keep you on track and see to it that you make it through.
– Think of rehab as training. Active people are really good at following training regimens. Apply an athlete’s mentality and discipline to your rehab program. Do the work and do it every single day. Just like in training, you will see progress and hit new goals, giving you that much-needed sense of accomplishment.
– Challenge yourself! Active people need to do something to work off energy. Being unable to do your favourite activity forces you to get creative. It’s not a bad thing to be reminded that there are so many ways to stay active. Who knows, maybe you’ll fall in love with a form of exercise you wouldn’t have tried were it not for your injury.
– Revisit your priorities. An injury can be the wake-up call you need to realise what your true priorities are. If you love working out and want to do it for a long time, you may need to take a step back and be less hard on yourself in your training!